Explore information to support the mental health of older Victorians during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Many older people are finding it difficult to stay connected during the pandemic, which can increase feelings of loneliness and isolation. 

Even if you are unable to see friends and family in person, try to stay connected with them through phone, video or online.

Being active can also help with your state of mind. If you can get out, ask a friend or family member to help you to keep active.

Staying well and connected

There are things you can do to stay safe and connected while following the latest health advice. Older Victorians are encouraged to:

  • Continue to use video calls to keep in touch with friends and family.
  • Talk with your family, carers and friends about how they can support you. For example, regular calls, helping with medication or food delivery.
  • Consider having groceries, medicines or essential supplies delivered to you.
  • Think about how you can spend time outdoors. Exercise is one of the four reasons you are allowed to leave your home. In metropolitan Melbourne you can leave your house for a total of two hours for exercise (a maximum of two times per day) with one other person, but you cannot go further than five kilometres from your home.

For those that find it difficult to leave the house, there are services available to help get your essential supplies delivered to you.

Conversations with older Victorians

Families and caregivers of older people should discuss news of coronavirus (COVID-19) in an open and honest way. There are some practical things you can do:

  • Keep in contact by phone or using technology like video chat that allows you to see each other.
  • Ensure they have enough supplies and offer to pick up on their behalf.
  • Encourage them to eat healthy foods and staying active.
  • Stress the importance of physical distancing and/or isolation for the sake of their own health and the health of others.
  • Acknowledge their feelings of anxiety and distress when they are asked to modify their routines and activities.
  • Help family members or neighbours establish a new daily or weekly routine.

Resources

  • Lifeline Australia Phone 13 11 14 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
    A crisis support service offering short-term support at any time for people who are having difficulty coping or staying safe.
    lifeline.org.au
  • Beyond Blue Phone 1800 512 348 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
    Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service is a dedicated service for those feeling anxious, stressed, depressed or need assistance during the coronavirus pandemic. https://coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au/
  • Partners in Wellbeing Phone 1300 375 330
    This service is now available for anyone who is feeling anxious, overwhelmed or are not coping. Partners in Wellbeing can provide ongoing free, confidential support. 
  • Seniors Online Victoria
    Collates a range of services and support programs tailored to older Victorians including help with essential deliveries, home support services and advocacy for seniors. Also has a full package of Seniors Festival performances and radio programs.
    www.seniorsonline.vic.gov.au/services-information/social-support-hub/getting-support-when-staying-at-home
  • Friendline Phone 1800 4 CHATS (1800 424 287)
    A free confidential service available to anyone looking to reconnect or have a chat with a volunteer. www.friendline.org.au/